Grassley ‘incensed’ by Sessions criticism of proposed sentencing reform legislation

Grassley ‘incensed’ by Sessions criticism of proposed sentencing reform legislation
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP senators call for Barr to release full results of Epstein investigation Trump health official: Controversial drug pricing move is 'top priority' Environmental advocates should take another look at biofuels MORE (R-Iowa) on Wednesday torched Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda Lewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE for his “attempt to undermine” a bipartisan drug sentencing reform bill. 

“Incensed by Sessions letter An attempt to undermine Grassley/Durbin/Lee BIPARTISAN criminal justice reforms This bill deserves thoughtful consideration b4 my cmte. AGs execute laws CONGRESS WRITES THEM!” Grassley tweeted.

In a letter sent to Grassley on Wednesday, Sessions wrote that legislation proposed by Grassley and Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility House panel investigating decision to resume federal executions To combat domestic terrorism, Congress must equip law enforcement to fight rise in white supremacist attacks MORE (Ill.) would be a “grave error” and urged the Senate to reconsider the bill.

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The attorney general said the bill weakens the punishments for criminals and risks allowing the “very worst criminals” back into society by allowing judges to retroactively reduce sentences.

The legislation, reintroduced last year after previously failing in the Senate, would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenders and end the mandatory three strikes rule that calls for repeat offenders to be sentenced to life in prison.

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeMcConnell, allies lean into Twitter, media 'war' Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Criminal justice reform should extend to student financial aid MORE (R-Utah) has also indicated support.

Grassley says the legislation would allow "nonviolent offenders with minimal criminal histories a better chance to become productive members of society."

Sessions, who has staked out his attorney general legacy as being tough on crime, argued the bill makes it easier for "serious drug traffickers" to re-enter society.

“The bill weakens penalties for repeat, serious drug traffickers, including those who used a gun and those with significant criminal histories, and would reduce the sentences of and potentially allow for the early release of many dangerous felons in prison now, including heroin traffickers, firearms felons, and those who are members of violent drug cartels and gangs like MS-13,” Session wrote.

“Passing this legislation to further reduce sentences for drug traffickers in the midst of the worst drug crisis in our nation’s history would make it more difficult to achieve our goals and have potentially dire consequences,” he said.